Matt Painter, Sharon Versyp and their respective Purdue basketball coaching staffs are getting ready to hit the road.
The most intense time in recruiting starts Tuesday when college coaches pack into gymnasiums across the country, watching AAU tournaments and evaluating talent.
I'll be shadowing Versyp for the first two days of her packed schedule -- hitting a tournament in Cincinnati Tuesday and then heading to Louisville Wednesday -- as research for a recruiting package of stories we will publish at the end of the month.
The package will include perspectives on the month from Purdue's coaches, recruits and coaches' spouses.
Painter turned down a request to follow anyone on his staff, but he did sit down for an extended interview this week.
Here's a taste:
- "I look forward to (July). You don't like to be away from your family, but in terms of a practical sense of doing your job, I want to see it. I'm tired of people giving me my opinion because I haven't been able to see somebody in the masses. I like going somewhere and seeing 20 to 30 kids. I like seeing them play against each other. Maybe it's not the most organized venue, but it still allows me to see some things because when somebody puts three stars or four stars next to somebody's name, that doesn't mean anything to me. The only thing that matters to me is what I see with my own two eyes. Then, through the course of time, you build rapport with people in the business, whether that's scouting evaluators, coaches, just basketball junkies, guys who go and watch who have a pretty good gauge. A lot of people do not have a good gauge. Can you watch somebody play poorly and you still like them? That is a skill. You have to be able to project. You have to be able to look past some things."
- "You can make a lot of mistakes as a men's college basketball coach, but if you get the right players, things work out," he said. "You can do everything else correct and if you get the wrong players and you're flat not good enough, you could end up on the street."